Friday, January 15, 2010

Just focusing on jiu jitsu for this post


Russ and I had another private lesson with Glenio today.

Glenio is the kind of guy who always seems glad to see you. Today he was waiting for us in the basement. He said had a surprise for me – a friend of his who is a blue belt was coming to train and maybe help with translation.

His friend didn’t arrive until mid-way through the warmup. His name is Gustavo. He looks about 25. He’s maybe 6’, 190lbs.

We went over some more techniques. Gustavo doesn’t really speak much English, but four heads trying to bridge the language gap is better than three.

Here are the techniques we covered today.

- North/South Kimura.

- North/South Kimura – opponent grips belt – scissor leg choke.

- North/South Kimura – opponent grips belt – magic grip – paper-cutter choke.

- North/South Kimura – opponent grips belt – magic grip – cross collar choke.

- Side control escape: hip bump reversal.

We also reviewed the standing guard pass, scissor sweep variations and X choke from last class.

The highlight for me was rolling with Gustavo. I know it seems silly, but itt was a little bit nerve wracking to roll with someone my own level in Brazil. Getting mauled by black belts is easy, because you don’t expect much of yourself. We were told to go light and work through the positions. It wasn’t a competitive roll, but it was fun and productive. I started in guard and managed to work a few new favourites – including the De La Riva tomo nagae sweep I learned from Marvio. I was just happy that it worked, and that I didn’t feel as though I was using any strength in the technique. There was one point when I had Gustavo in a twister and I wasn’t really sure what to do. It’s not legal in BJJ competition, but it’s not something you just want to give up. Eventually I just gave it up and scrambled to mount.

It was a fun and spirited roll. I don’t feel like I was using my size too much and I was still able to work my techniques. There was no win or lose, just co-operative training. Made me feel like I deserved the blue and that I could work with people at that level anywhere.

Had a roll with Glenio after that. He was still obviously toying with me, but I feel I had a better showing. I was just feeling a lot more comfortable trying my techniques rather than freezing up thinking “Ohmygod, I’m in Brazil rolling with a black belt.”

I think Glenio would let me hit a technique if he thought I was doing it correctly. He let me pass (one of the passes I learned from Marvio,) and work an Ezekiel choke. He showed me some finer points on the Ezekiel at the end of class. Marvio prefers it from side control, so we went over that for a while.

Glenio says group classes resume Wednesday, so I’m looking forward rolling with more people on my level. I also talked to Glenio about going to the big Ataque Duplo gym in Florianopolis. That gym has 30 black belts, which is the sort of thing I’ve never seen.

I have another private scheduled with Marvio for Monday night.

So far this trip is exceeding expectations – it’s easy when you have none coming in.

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